What does Hybrid Cloud mean?
A Hybrid Cloud infrastructure contains at least two different environments, which can be:
- on-premises computing,
- a public cloud service, and
- a private cloud.
Let’s look at an example where all three components are interconnected and are used to achieve a company’s business goals:
- the on-premises computers act as web servers,
- the public cloud vendor, such as AWS, Google Cloud, or Azure, hosts a different application integrated with the company’s website,
- the private cloud contains the users’ database.
Advantages and disadvantages of using a hybrid cloud scheme
Keeping your resources in different solutions and working under a distributed system can help you increase performance. If you efficiently distribute workloads, you can significantly decrease latency and become more efficient.
Having so many technologies integrated into your workflow can help you with flexibility. For example, you can choose where each type of data is stored.
Moreover, by hosting your applications in the cloud using technologies like Docker or Kubernetes, they become portable and can be moved across environments.
Compared to on-premises systems, hybrid cloud is more scalable because of its cloud component.
You can quickly scale up and acquire more resources in the cloud without having to purchase any equipment.
Due to increased complexity, it is harder to secure and manage your application’s resources and workloads. Working with at least three different environments (on-premises, private and public cloud) can increase the chance of making mistakes in terms of security (and not only).
One of the public cloud's most significant advantages is that it is usually the cheapest alternative to keeping up servers on-premises. However, hybrid cloud architecture uses both, increasing costs.
Hybrid Cloud Best Practices
We’ve composed a list of best practices to tick off when constructing and assessing your hybrid cloud infrastructure. Some of these may be applicable to companies that use cloud environments (and not hybrid ones) as well.
1. Have a robust cloud security posture, secure your on-premises servers, and ensure endpoint security.
In order to secure an infrastructure that uses hybrid cloud, besides managing your cloud security posture, you need to ensure your devices are secured. On-premises devices should:
- be updated regularly,
- be protected by antiviruses and firewalls.
2. Implement the Least Privilege Principle.
The Least Privilege Principle states that no user should be given more permissions than required. This practice helps minimize the risk of data breaches or accidental misconfigurations.
Make sure you implement this principle across all platforms and devices.
To do this, restrict access to the lowest privilege every user needs and eliminate all root and administrator accounts that are not strictly necessary.
3. Monitor your environment.
Monitoring is essential to detecting any misconfigurations or malicious actions in your company.
Keep logs of everything that happens in your infrastructure and use targeted alerts to help you respond quickly to the most important events.
4. Perform regular audits and comply with international standards.
It is important to be compliant with international standards and acquire their accreditations. In this way, you ensure that you:
- manage customer data safely,
- have a good reputation since you show that you recognize the importance of information security,
- avoid fines and other financial consequences.
To achieve compliance, you must implement proper data handling in both on-premises and cloud environments.
International standards that define rules and regulations that apply to the hybrid cloud are:
- SOC 2,
- ISO 27001, and others.
5. Perform backups
Since the on-premises infrastructure is a part of the hybrid cloud, it is essential to perform regular backups.
Public cloud vendors provide backup services for your cloud assets. Some solutions are:
- Azure Backup,
- AWS Backup,
- Actifio Go, for Google Cloud.
To back up your on-premises devices, establish a disaster recovery strategy and store backups separately from on-premises equipment.
How can Cyscale improve your hybrid cloud infrastructure?
Use Cyscale’s policy engine to create policies for your entire infrastructure and effortlessly follow the best practices described in this article.
The policies you establish can be used for both on-premises and public cloud environments.
Moreover, for your public cloud infrastructure, you can achieve robust security when using Cyscale, by:
- becoming compliant with international standards with less effort and time,
- checking your cloud’s configurations and eliminating any vulnerabilities using over 500 controls and policies available across the most important cloud vendors,
- receiving targeted alerts that let you locate critical misconfigurations in no time,
- receiving remediation steps to fix findings.
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